James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

Mount Ararat


Mount Ararat

It was as we rumbled and lurched slowly across the Armenian highlands at dawn that I had my first view of Mount Ararat.

Perfectly framed in the misty window of the Tbilisi-Yerevan sleeper train following the Turkish border. I asked a fellow passenger, just to be sure it was, and as with all Armenians she nodded proudly. It is of course the site where Noah is said to have landed in his Ark.

An essential part of Armenia’s cultural identity, I can see why. It might be the most beautiful mountain I’ve ever seen. At just over 5000m it isn’t tall by global standards, but it towers above the surrounding area, with only the fittingly named Little Ararat for company.

On a hazy day the snow-capped peak looks somewhat like a cloud hanging over Yerevan, until you look a little closer.

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